How to Make Oil Based Modeling Clay

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If you love to sculpt things out of clay, but want to be able to remodel your creations, oil-based modeling clay is the one for you. The oil keeps the clay from hardening, so you're free to re-sculpt or redo your creations as often as you'd like. You can make your own oil-based modeling clay using ingredients that are readily available at craft and auto supply stores. It only takes a few minutes to combine the ingredients and a few hours for the clay to set up to the proper consistency. This recipe makes about 10 pounds of clay.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 1/2 lbs. microcrystalline wax (available at craft stores)
  • 1 pint #10 weight oil (available at auto supply stores)
  • 1 lb. automotive grease (available at auto supply stores)
  • 6 lbs. + 4 oz. dry clay powder (available at craft stores)
  • Place wax, oil, and grease in a large electric frying pan or large cooking pot.

  • Over low heat, melt wax, oil, and grease. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Combine well.

  • Slowly add clay powder to mixture of wax, oil and grease. Add about a quarter of the clay powder at a time and mix in thoroughly before adding more clay powder to the mixture. Repeat until all clay powder is incorporated.

  • Slowly pour finished clay into disposable plastic containers.

  • Allow clay to harden several hours at room temperature before using.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although it's not necessary to store oil-based clay in an airtight container, store in a covered container to keep dust out.
  • To reduce the possibility of fire, use the lowest heat setting on the electric frying pan or cooking pot when melting and combining wax, oil and grease.

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